Boston Daze (updated)

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
In the shadows of giants…

I spent the day in town today so over the next few I’ll be posting various pics that I took around while hitting over 31,000 steps on my activity tracker. (That’s 13 miles of walking!)

I started by going through Downtown, through Faneuil Hall, , then up into the North End, over to the waterfront briefly, up to North Station, down along Fort Point, over to the Leather District, over to Copley around Trinity and the BPL and part of the Back Bay – basically all over. Why did I do this? Well, I had some free time and I was jonesin to capture some new content without any particular ideas of what I could see. Just being spontaneous and see what happens. I also wanted to see how far I could push my body – seems like 13 miles is pretty much the maximum I can walk in a day (and the weather wasn’t too bad!) – after that I start turning to mush.

This first pic above is from Faneuil Hall, and the statue is actually a giant size version of a former mayor of the city, as an exercise to the readers I’ll let you figure out which one.

After all that walking I met up with LD and we went out to an early dinner at a place we like in Braintree. Then it was back home, resting watching some 20/20.

I’m becoming ever more mindful of the layers of fragility at this uncertain time in history…

Speaking of watching, I was able to watch the first episode of Star Trek: Picard after all, as the powers that be have decided to place the episode up on YouTube to watch for free for a limited time, so if you want to catch it better hurry up quick. I must say that I am very impressed with what they’re doing. Two thumbs up from me – however I’m still not paying for CBS All Access. And speaking of sci-fi type stuff – did someone mess with the timeline because lately it feels like everything is a bit off from where it should be – for example, Kobe Bryant has passed; Prince Harry is leaving the monarchy; dinkweed is in the Oval Office; the world seems so divisive these days – just seems like something isn’t right. Did a Crisis on Infinite Earths or Back to the Future Part II actually happen? I’m becoming ever more mindful of the layers of fragility at this uncertain time in history…

Rise Above It All

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
The site of the Boston Massacre.

I like the way this photo came out. I titled it “Rise Above” because of the buildings rising up into the sky surrounding the old State House into the morning fog, but also as I zoomed in, which I didn’t notice before, due to the window washers. I think what’s cool about this photo are the building details which you can see better as you zoom in – I find a certain kind of hidden beauty in that. Also the way I need to feel lately, so there’s that. Other themes that resonate with me as I look at this are the muted colors, the fog, things like that – relevant to how I’m feeling in a lot of ways these days.

A Most Serene Saturday

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Motif No. 1, Rockport Massachusetts

What’s up with all the Aaron Hernandez specials on all of sudden?

Thoughts on the Hello Fresh – I did good on my first try although this particular recipe was very easy to prepare. Does seem like their ingredients are fresher than Blue Apron but that’s just my limited observation. Probably no different really.

Finally I did get a chance to see the David Harbour Hellboy movie this morning on HBO (I had DVR’ed it a while back). All in all, he’s good but I did prefer the Del Toro movies better. I guess it doesn’t matter since it didn’t do well at the box office so I suppose that’s the end of that.

Rest of the day is pretty much just taking it easy. Reading, napping, chores, etc. Might update this post more later…

Appointment Day

Everyday Life, Local Music Scene, Memories, Pets, Scenic Photography
Paine’s Creek last summer.

Lots of appointments filling out today. I had a dental appt early in the morning with a followup in two weeks and then LD had some stuff. Carson had a vet visit as well. That was a bit of trauma getting him in the carrier at first – but he did good while he was there. He was so scared he actually let out a little poop while en route – which actually was advantageous as it was used as his stool sample. Good job Carson! We also did get to check out a cute cafe in Lincoln as well since we were in the area (the Twisted Tree Cafe). In case you were wondering I had a pretty good turkey sandwich.

This seems to be the year of seeing concerts – got a whole bunch of musical acts to see this year. Might see Bon Jovi again (not sure why his prices are so high, he ain’t THAT good – just my opinion), and entered a contest for front row Billy Joel seats at Fenway along with a meet and greet after the show through SiriusXM – hey you never know. Can”t win if you don’t try although I know my odds on that one are pretty slim. This all goes along with acts I plan to see this like Def Leppard, Poison, Mötley Crüe and Joan Jett (granted all those are on the same bill) as well as Johnny Mathis, possibly Damone again and maybe Lita Ford or some such, who knows. Maybe even the Harp Twins. Might be getting tougher and tougher to see local acts these days as the old Middle East is up for sale though admittedly I haven’t done that in quite some time – age and all.

Wish I had CBS All Access – I want to see the new Picard show – heard good things, but I’m too cheap to buy the streaming service for one show. Anyone wanna invite me to a watch party? Heheh!Another show I’m looking forward to Forensic Files II! Wonder if it’ll be as good as the originals – I noticed it even has the same opening theme music!

Got a free shipment of Hello Fresh to try this weekend (friend that uses them got an offer to send a free shipment to us try them out) – we’ll see how it goes (haven’t done any of these things since the Blue Apron days, which we did for a while but quit a couple of years ago). I’m doing the cooking tonight! What else? Still keeping my amaryllis and European Tree going strong, so that’s good. Filled up the bird feeder outside as it was empty – I haven’t really done any birding in a while. Might have to get out there and try some again.

Two Steps Back

Everyday Life, GameTime, Memories

(Work crap story here) I’m still hearing flack about a mix up I was involved in a couple weeks back and now everyone’s in a snit about. Yes, I had a misunderstanding about a task whereas they just wanted to know how long it would take to do something but I took it as how long would it take, told them and they said great, and went ahead and did it although I wasn’t supposed to. Why ask if you’re not going to do anything!? Looking back at it now I can see it could be read two ways in the way it was asked. I was a bit zealous in my search to find stuff that I might have jumped the gun a bit on that, but if the pressure wasn’t so high in the first place maybe it would have never happened? Oh well. So now they are crying over budget (again) and they want to win the re compete for this project which is coming up (not sure how my involvement would change any of that, wouldn’t you just eat it and not place things like that in a proposal? Plus I’ve learned you can have a great proposal and be cheaper than the competition and still lose – that’s why I’m in this mess in the first place) and want me to move it to overhead, but that freaks my manager out because it will ruin the utilization numbers for the month of the group because for some reason they’ll all agog about having the numbers look good for January (they just recently reorganized again – seems to happen every 18 months or so since I’ve started working in this business). Same old story I’ve heard a million times before. Gets old real fast.

Well, I can’t change the past. It is what it was. Makes me think they’re concerned about profitability (as usual – I get it, but geez), I think a bunch of folks are on the light side, not just me, and that is not a good sign. The business is somewhat cyclical – it gets busy and then there are lulls – I believe we are in somewhat of a lull at the moment, maybe if they could win some projects things would reflect better what they are trying to achieve. I’ve been able to find some things on my own here and there but it’d be good to get something solid. Meanwhile the place goes ahead and buys another company and is building a huge ass headquarters for millions that won’t be done for two years (got money for that though), yet they worry about one week of my part time work bringing down the house. Oh, and nobody cares for the stupid open office concept either – it’s so 2002. Anyways I haven’t heard as of yet what the final outcome will be or what they want me to do with the time I used. A good part of me really doesn’t give a fuck. I’m finding myself getting really tired of this same old story and it makes me want to break free and try something new, but the other side is I need the job and where am I going to find something equatable as what I have now? Crazy to believe in September I’ll be 30 years in. (Not that that seems to matter any – I think my manager was in high school while I was putting out reports).

Then I try to figure out if I could just retire now. Total pipe dream – I can’t but it would be nice. Another 13 years at least of this shit!? Feels good to vent though. I’m open to possibilities if you know of any. I could happily be a lovely assistant to someone. Another pipe dream.

But there is something to look forward to. I’m going to see Def Leppard and friends at Fenway park late this summer with LD and a friend coming up from Jerz. Thanks LD!

Today’s Gametime: Wiz!

Braving the Cold

Everyday Life, GameTime, Memories, Scenic Photography
Tut’s 25-foot tall guardian visits Boston City Hall!

I went and got a much needed haircut early this morning. I find early Friday mornings are the best time to go to this particular barbershop because it isn’t too busy and I can get in and out really quick. Also, I’ve noticed that barbershops (or most of them) are all pretty hip these days with young men doing the work. Not the barbershop scene I remember growing up as a kid.

Carson meanwhile continues to amaze. He really likes this fake mouse at the end of a string toy, so we play a lot with him using it as it seems to be his favorite. He’s like a dog. He actually will play fetch with it. Apparently this morning while I was the barbershop he took the mouse, carried it all the way up the stairs into the bedroom, and dropped in in the bed next to LD! What a character this cat is!

Work is work. Trying to find pieces here and there. What’s really annoying is that we noticed a job posting in the company looking for the work that I am totally qualified and AM doing! But for some wacko reason I can’t work with them unless I switch into their group (but they’d essentially have to ‘hire’ me even though I already work at the company – actually it makes no sense). We’ll see if they want to pop on me, although it’s dumb to me that the resources are already there but do to most likely financial setups we can’t just work together. The fact that I haven’t heard anything from them doesn’t make me feel confident but I’ll give it some time and see.

This afternoon I decided to brave the cold and check out the big Tut statue down at Boston city hall, since it’s only there for a few more days and I’m not sure I’d get another opportunity to see this thing. Like I said before, I have a thing for ancient Egyptian stuff.

Coldest day of the season with wind chill factor, no problem!

Ended up going to a restaurant for an early dinner, Venezia’s down by the Boston/Quincy waterfront. Hadn’t done that in quite some time, it was nice.

Also as for gametime these days:

Goat in the Cave – help the goat survive and get out. I was able to complete all the levels.

As for Tasty Jewel looks like Level 92 is far as I’m going to get. I think I’ve annoyed LD playing this game long enough now.

Full Circle is a good puzzle game, but alas, I cannot for the life of me seem to be able to solve level 6. There are 7 levels total. When I get trapped like this it makes me nuts! I must solve the puzzle! But how?

Goat Whisperer

Everyday Life, Goat Love, Memories
Eustice, Apache, and me.

Sanctuary visit with goats! Eustice is a lovable black and white goat. When he was very young, he loved to jump on things and that included the horse at his former home. He was severely disciplined by his caretaker. Fearful for him, the wife smuggled Eustice out and gave him to the sanctuary. Free from restrictions, Eustice could be found on top of the barn, sheds and anything else he could find. Apache being only a few months old, was found wandering on Route 140 in Norton. She was brought to Sanctaury and although she was initially very shy around people, she adapted to her new home. She is now quite friendly. These two goats love to be brushed!

Mail It In

Everyday Life, Memories
Amaryllis has opened up!

I was able to install the new mailbox this morning, although I did have to improvise a little bit to match up what was done previously (not really by the book). It’ll work.

I allowed Carson into the sun room today – I think he’s going to like being out there. He’s still a little apprehensive, but all signs point to a future where he will enjoy being out there.

Other than that, it’s been reading, playing video games, and chilling out for a Saturday at home.

Simple Sundaze

Memories, Scenic Photography
Nubble

Can’t wait for spring to arrive so I can do more outdoor stuff. My amaryllis is starting to bloom, so that’s exciting. Found out another Carson oddity. You know how you play with kids and you do that hide your face game? Well, it works with him too. If you look at him and then move so as to hide your face, he gets curious where you went and has to discover for himself where you are. He’ll leave wherever he was sitting to investigate. Like I said before, quite a character.

No Name No More

Everyday Life, Food, Memories

I was somewhat saddened to hear that the No Name Restaurant in Boston had closed down after being in business for over 100 years. I had been there a couple of times over the years, but truth be told, I always did find it really hard to get to. Once you got to the area, it literally was on a working pier in the Seaport. They actually did get their seafood directly from down the pier, only a few feet from the place.

I do have one story from there though. I remember going there, don’t remember with who – probably my family, and we were seated next to this woman who had a doll with her which she placed in her own chair at the table and would order for the doll. I think she was a regular and would always order for the doll, even though the doll never took a bite of any of its food. One time the lady’s (what I assume was her) boyfriend arrived and he went along with it all. Strange thing was they arrived separately and left separately too. I always wondered if she lost a child before and used the doll as a replacement. Anyways, that’s my No Name story.

Looking Ahead

Baby Robins, Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Memories, Reading, Scenic Photography
Looking ahead.

2019 wasn’t the worst year ever, but certainly wasn’t the best for me either. I think 2020 is probably going to be a bit of a test as well, especially at the beginning, but hopefully over time things will improve.

Anyways let’s look at the bright spots. Here are some of the highlights that I can remember from 2019, in no particular order:

Losing Oreo but gaining Carson.

Visiting Blue in Newburyport in a snowstorm.

Nice beach views!

Seeing Damone perform live again. Kris Kristofferson too with/for my mom.

Baby Robins! It was a thrill every day to see how they would progress, from eggs, too little alien looking things, to growing feather, and finally saying goodbye. Their mother was amazing in her care of them.

Scoring free tickets to see Jack Nicholson in the Shining at the Somerville Theatre.

Mother’s Day Cruise aboard the Beauport Liner in Gloucester.

Scenes along the Gloucester harbor.

Remodeling the bedroom, scoring a free bike on one of the Buy Nothing Facebook groups.

Large Condo apartments being built on either side of Earth-1 property, squeezing a rose between two thorns. Ridiculous!

Michelle coming to visit and doing Alpaca Yoga with her.

Gardening game going strong, and growing “Sean”, our first pumpkin.

Going away to the Cape for a week, getting some good photos, but having to be in a different unit than usual next to the “murderers.” Not really – they were just really quiet and not sure where the rest of their party disappeared to.

Cape sunsets are the best.

Having a short stay on the Jersey shore, in an historic BnB but narrowly avoiding what could have been a massive storm!

The storm moving in!

Trying another bout of baby goat yoga at a place in Georgetown. Will definitely visit again but also will probably hit our go to place in NH as it seems their babies are really small and cute.

Waquesset Inn overnight stay.

the patio.

New website design after the old system could no longer be supported.

Boston views as always:

Finally some books I read thus far in 2019:

Books I read in 2019. Bad Blood, Maybe you should talk to Someone, and Still Alice being favorites.

MOS

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Looking toward the Longfellow Bridge through the glass panes.

Spent yesterday at the Museum of Science in Boston. It’s a lot more interactive than I remember it being – I guess they redid a lot of it over. I was pretty impressed actually. Lots of stuff to do there. We took in a 4D movie as well. I didn’t really know what that meant. You wear the glasses so the screen is 3D but then there are environmental effects as well. When a snake goes by on screen you can feel something slithering along your legs, when a blast of wind comes through, you can feel that to, your seat shakes and vibrates with loud noises, and you even get wet with a mist of water during rain and rapid flowing water shots. Something different for sure!

Also played a lot of Air Hockey this weekend, saw some animals at the Sanctuary, watched Home Alone and ate a ginormous pizza. I think all had a good time! I also joined a new group of fellow jukebox owners. Pretty friendly community of folks to chat with!

UnCut Gems

Everyday Life, Memories

Spent the afternoon down in Dartmouth with friends and then decided to see the new movie “Uncut Gems” with Adam Sandler. Not quite the movie I was expecting – pretty tense – and not the ending I expected either. Was it good? Yeah, I’d say it was good but not one of my all time favorites.

Been setting up my new Fitbit watch. Pretty cool. My version of Android is too old (I really need to get the S10 in the spring/summer, but for now I can use the iPad to set things up. Overall, I’m really digging the smartwatch features.

Got some very special guests coming for the weekend, so updates might be light until I can back to the computer.

Merry Xmas All

Memories
Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!

Merry Xmas all!

Had a wonderful Xmas eve and Xmas day hang out with my sister being over. Think she had a fun time too. We had an eggplant ricotta bake on Xmas eve, and then for Xmas day we made some ham, cauliflower au gratin, and a bunch of other fixings.

We created a festive milk chocolate Christmas tree kit using a kit with icing for the tinsel that you stuck the ornaments to – came out pretty good! Ended the night playing some Scattergories and watching A Christmas Story (again).

Christmas day we ate, played some air hockey, and chatted about lots of stuff. After driving her home we visited my mom and hung there for a little bit also visiting Laurel and Hardy (my mom’s crazy cats).

Returning back, we opened our gifts, and Carson played with all his new gifts too. I hope this was his best Christmas yet. He especially likes his little mouse string toy. We’ve been trying to get a good picture of him for a possible upcoming holiday card to send out. He’s so fast and active though!

I got some cool stuff too – clothes I could use and some fun stuff that I wanted – three books to read that was on my Goodreads list (The Power Broker, Highway of Tears and The Big Nine) as well a new Fitbit Versa 2! Thanks Santa!

May you have the spirit of Christmas which is Peace, the gladness of Christmas which is Hope, and the heart of Christmas which is Love!

Sunday Status

Everyday Life, Memories, Reading
Holiday scene on some property in Waltham. We dug the spinning carousel.

Transplanted my little ‘Ellwoodii’ European Tree into a bigger pot. It’s amazing how fast it dries out so I have to keep making sure the soil is moist. Also just bought an amaryllis that is almost ready to bloom. I also checked up on the bird feeder out back and noticed the usual collection of cardinals, blue jays, wrens, sparrows, woodpeckers, chickadees, finches and juncos all grabbing a snack or two.

Looked over a few little libraries in the afternoon in Waltham, since we happened to be in the area doing other stuff. Picked up a book called Status Update from inside one of them. Might be a good read although probably a little dated by this point. Also cooked up some homemade chicken soup and chili using the Instant Pot. That thing really is a wonder.

In the downtime I ended up binge watching the last few episodes of Watchmen and I’ve since changed my mind on it – it was pretty mind blowing.

Carson Kitty Adventures

Memories, Pets
Carson Kitty

Went out for a nice dinner with friends last night over in Dedham. I just wish I could shale this annoying cough I seem to have developed. I know it’s all part of the process of this cold working it’s way through my system, but annoying nonetheless. I think I’ve drunk more tea this week than I ever have in my entire life.

Carson is settling in really nice now. This new addition is making us all very happy, and I think the feeling is mutual!

Carson Comes Home

Everyday Life, Memories, Pets, Scenic Photography
Rocks that have nothing to do with Carson, I just like the shot.

Today was the day that we were to meet Carson, the cat that had been living in a shelter in Millis for two months. I don’t know what is was about him when we saw his picture on the website but his big round eyes, dashing grey coat with white paws, and heart-shaped nose cuteness just spoke to us like he could be the one. Around noontime was the appointment and we arrived a little early. When we were finally introduced he looked a little scared at first, but not too bad. He allowed us to brush and pet him and play with him and it was almost like an instant connection. Yes, he is a bit shy and skittish at first, because it’s all new to him, but I could tell he will adjust really fast. I could tell he would be a gentle and friendly cat. Plus, he apparently loves face-scratches which is something LD had become an expert at with Oreo, so right there is a connection that could work for us. He’s shy (but I found not overly so) and he didn’t hiss or scratch, he seemed like a real catch. I knew we could love this cat and that he also has the capability to return the favor.

It was pretty much a done deal after spending some time with the little guy. Carson was getting an all expenses paid trip to his new forever home. After all the paperwork was signed, he got placed in the carrier and I let him say goodbye to his other cat friends at the shelter, who in their own way, probably felt bittersweet. Sad that he was leaving them, but happy that he could find a loving home to be in. I’m sure the volunteers who help out at the shelter felt the same way. Also, I have to say this shelter was amazing so I’m giving a plug to Purr-fect Cat Shelter. They are really a wonderful folks doing good work there so if you’re looking for cat, check them out.

So with that, I’m happy to say that Carson is now a member of the family! I’ll get some nice pictures of him up after he gets a little more adjusted to his new home, that grey and white handsome bundle of joy. Interestingly I had found a Xmas tree ornament while shopping at Target last night with his exact name on it. What are the odds of that? I don’t think that’s an everyday name but it does seem to suit him, so we’ll be keeping that. Naturally we ended up buying it, so I guess it was fate that he would be coming home with us today. The shelter folks told us to keep him in a room for the time being to adjust to his new surroundings and slowly let him acclimate to the rest of the house over time, so for the time being he’s hanging upstairs in the home office room. So far, I think he seems to be adjusting quite well – it being fairly quiet here and no other cat shenanigans to worry about.

Welcome home, Carson!

Anticipation

Everyday Life, GameTime, Memories

After going to some doctor appointment visits, I went ahead over to the pet store to get some new gravel, some treats, a blanket, and some pet-safe ice melt in preparation for any newcomers to the family that might hopefully find a new home here tomorrow! I had forgotten how heavy those 40 pound gravel containers can be – it’s been a while since I had to lug those around, but to be honest, I do feel it’s time to welcome a new pet into our lives. I also brought up some stuff from storage that will be getting re-used.

In my spare time I’ve been playing Ninja Rian, which has me pulling my hair out every time I perish, but it is a fun platformer. As for TV shows I had been watching, I caught the 5-episode Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover on CW, which deals with all their DC superheroes and merging all the different universes into one. If you’re familiar with the comic from the 1980s you’ll understand, (hmmm I actually have all those original issues in storage – wonder if they have any good value? At least a few hundred dollars at this point) and I’m liking it so far – part 2 being the best of the first three to me. That was also the inspiration for me way back to designate my two main places of habitation as Earth-1 and Earth-2! 🙂

I had to order some Panasonic rechargeable batteries for my home phone back at Earth-1. I had forgot that you can’t just swap in regular AAAs into the phone as it requires these kinds of batteries. I do have to say, the ones I have in there lasted a hell of a long time. Meanwhile, over at Earth-2 I had noticed one of the lighted reindeers out front wasn’t turning his head anymore. I went out there and investigated. Somehow the connection rod from the motor to the link on the neck had gotten free. Just putting it back together was all it took to make it work again. I went ahead and pulled to trigger on those Mathis tickets for my mom – early xmas gift – 5th row!

Xmas Wish List

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Holiday scene from Kennebunkport, Maine

It’s officially 2 weeks away from Christmas! People ask me, “What do you want for Christmas?” and I have no ideas.  Truth is I don’t really want or need anything, maybe some books on my Goodreads “to-read” list and maybe a Fitbit Versa 2 and a sweater or two, but honesty not really much if anything (!!) When I was a kid, I would like to receive presents but nowadays I get more joy from getting other folks things. I have stuff for LD all lined up (although I always want to get more – especially stocking stuffers) and I think I might get tickets to Johnny Mathis for my Mom (he’s coming to Medford in May – also Damone is doing another show in May, might get those for myself).

Four Seasons

Everyday Life, Memories

In the late afternoon, I walked down and grabbed the commuter rail train down to South Station to meet up with LD and attend the holiday party that her workplace was having at the Four Seasons. I had a good time, I’m glad that I was able to go, and I met some nice people that LD works with. Interestingly, we found the food wasn’t all that spectacular – previous years when it was held a the Intercontinental, we thought it was better. Also it was kinda a strange setup spread throughout multiple rooms but it was a lot of people in attendance. I got to hold a tiny bunny all swaddled up too. I may update this entry with more observations later so check back if you want to.

Have an appointment over the weekend to meet ‘Carson.’ A shelter cat we’ve had our eye on and we’ll see if he comes home with us!

Circle of Hope 2019

Everyday Life, Memories

We braved the elements last night to attend the annual Circle of Hope ceremony. Every year we go and create a luminary to honor a loved one. It’s actually a really nice event, and all the money generated is used to help folks in need due to a catastrophic medical occurrence. The final two images are the light up reindeers I installed out in front a week ago. Looks like they’ve had some tiny visitors check them out.